I remember my dress.
I remember the layout of the house.
I remember his hand sliding between my legs.
I was 3.
I remember this game he would play
"you want this."
"no, no i don't. stop"
I would laugh because I laugh when I'm nervous and uncomfortable, often sending the wrong message.
I was 15.
I remember laying on the floor.
I remember my limp body as he penetrated with each thrust
calling me Russia.
I was 16.
I drank too much at a party one night.
I don't know who dragged me into a room but I remember clothes being taken off as I stumbled
trying to find my grounding.
Hands sliding all over my body as he quickly tried to get down to it, before someone would catch him.
I remember feeling violated.
Someone walked in.
I was 19.
"Just touch it," he said.
"No. What the f***."
"Well, you do this for everyone else."
"NO! I don't!"
"Either pleasure me or get the f*** out."
I was 20.
My life was taken from me at the age of 3. Every action, decision, and void-filling behaviour I did was because of a choice a man made.
Sexual partners continued filling a void.
Because men felt the need to feel power. Power over a limp body. Power to get their needs met.
I started to connect the dots between my actions and behaviours as I grew older and got involved in social work. I volunteered with sex workers to hear their stories and knew how easily I could have ended up right there beside them. I always wanted more for my life, a family, a loving partner. But each destructive behaviour I had seemed to always ruin everything. I got married to a man who treated me poorly. I had a daughter. And then I got divorced.
My daughter saved my life.
That's when things started to change and i started to understand my self-worth. I started to work through my issues and I became a survivor and not a victim. I knew that i never wanted my daughter to experience what i went through and that i would do everything in my power to ensure she grew up in a functional home. A home where she witnessed her mom being treated correctly. A home where she was safe and never got violated. A home where she could be a kid.
My childhood was taken from me. Not just because of the sexual assault. My mother was a survivor as well and she did her best to protect her kids. But a lot of what happened was because of what she went through and wanted to fight or avoid because of it. I was following her footsteps not knowingly or blindly. We are influenced greatly by our mothers and I knew that I needed to influence my daughter sooner rather than later.
I now have a voice.
Everyone deserves a voice.